Sober living homes in Florida provide a stable and substance-free living environment for persons in addiction recovery. Besides sober living, there are also transitional living arrangements, halfway houses, and recovery residences. While these programs are all community housing models created to improve clients' recovery outcomes, they differ slightly from sober living homes.
Detox and residential addiction treatment programs help clients achieve sobriety and attain a healthy physical and mental state in a drug-free environment. However, after completing rehab, clients have two choices: return to their homes and social environment or enroll in a facility designed for people in recovery. Many people choose to live in sober living homes because peer support is available, and the structure is built to simulate daily life.
Generally, life in a typical Florida sober living home revolves around activities that provide peer support for recovery outside professional treatment. The idea is to give clients new social support systems where they can avoid living environments that encourage drug and alcohol use. While daily life is structured, residents still have the autonomy to pursue other interests.
Residents typically start their mornings with house chores like making their beds, cleaning their rooms or shared bathrooms, helping with breakfast, and a group session. Then, they have the rest of the day to themselves. Residents who have jobs go to work; others search for work, volunteer in the community, go to school, or practice if they are into a sport or hobby. Likewise, residents who have treatment sessions also visit their addiction recovery specialists.
Evenings usually involve making dinner, participating in a group session if there was none in the morning, spending time with other people, or any other activity that does not involve alcohol or drugs. Residents also discuss their tasks in the house and resolve personal conflicts with other housemates during these meetings.
Sobriety is the most critical condition for staying in Florida sober living. Residents who fail drug screenings or relapse will have their in-house privileges rolled back or be temporarily or permanently evicted. Specific steps parties can take to increase their chances of staying sober are as follows:
To increase the chances of staying sober, parties should avoid alcohol and psychoactive drugs. Residents who socialize cannot control how others bring or use drugs or alcohol around them, but they have a choice. That choice is to leave social situations where there are drugs or alcohol around. Making this decision builds self-confidence and self-control in the long term.
Even a highly motivated person cannot entirely avoid certain situations that threaten their sobriety, especially when they are alone and stressed. It is generally recommended that parties have a chaperone attend such social events. This person can be their sponsor, a family member, or a supportive friend.
12-step meetings and in-house meetings also go a long way in increasing the chances of staying sober. They offer opportunities to meet people who have overcome similar challenges. Sober living homes often invite alumni over, and these people share their experiences and offer support to new residents.
Sober living homes create a drug-free environment that allows people to handle less-safe environments healthily. Aside from meetings and house chores, people in sober living homes will have more free time. Getting involved with a community project, sports, volunteering, or school keeps the mind and body engaged. Activities bring a sense of accomplishment, improving the chances of staying sober.
Everyone’s environment and support group influence their chances of staying sober. It is essential to avoid stressors and triggers that may remind people of their former environment. Many people create new social media accounts, change their phone numbers and contact info, and even take a break from speaking to specific family or friends. This isn’t to try and run from reality but to avoid toxic environments until they develop the skills and confidence to take it on and remain sober.
It depends. Clients typically move into sober living homes after completing a formal detox or residential rehab and deciding they need a buffer from their former environment. Persons with substance dependency can also get informal help here without rehab.
Sober living homes do not have professionals or addiction treatment specialists, and the recovery model is based primarily on peer support and empowerment. Moving into a sober living home is ideal for persons looking to learn from the recovery experience of others.
Still, getting professional help is recommended before moving into a sober living home, especially for persons who have had difficulty staying sober or need special care.
It is common to refer to halfway houses as sober living homes. After all, both share similarities common to community recovery housing. Opening these programs doesn't require a license, but Florida municipal ordinances on residential buildings apply. Also, halfway houses and sober living homes do not need licenses to open under Florida or federal laws. They don't provide formal addiction treatment subject to regulatory standards set by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Despite these similarities, sober living homes and halfway houses are different. The main differences between these programs lie in the requirements for admission, length of stay, recovery model, and mode of operation.
For one, halfway houses are recovery programs that provide accommodation for people who have completed residential rehab or are committed to an outpatient rehab program. Thus, the one condition for entering this program is completion or enrollment in a rehab program. On the other hand, sober living homes do not have this limitation or prerequisite.
Halfway houses limit how long residents can stay. This period ranges from several weeks to months. Eventually, a person living in a halfway house must move out regardless of their level of self-sufficiency. This practice is because halfways typically rely on government funding, and residents rely on social security to fund their stay.
On the other hand, there is no limit to how long a person can stay in a sober living home, provided they follow house rules and meet their financial obligations. Furthermore, sober living homes are typically funded by resident payments, while halfway houses are often government-funded.
Residents of halfway houses must commit to a formal treatment program throughout their stay. Treatment happens outside the house, at an affiliate facility, because halfway houses don't have the license to provide professional addiction treatment. Furthermore, daily activities are structured, and residents have less room to pursue jobs or interests outside the scope of their treatment program.
The recovery model at sober living homes is based on peer support and self-help. While commitment to a formal treatment program is optional, many sober living homes mandate that housemates attend several 12-step meetings per week.
Based on the levels of support they offer residents, four types of sober living homes in Florida include halfway houses, transitional housing, recovery houses, and sober housing.
Halfway houses are recovery residences typically affiliated with a formal rehab program. For this reason, this type of sober living home provides the highest level of support for sobriety. Living in a halfway house is cheap, but there is little privacy as residents live in dorms. This type of sober living home is best-fit for persons with limited external support, disabilities, or conviction history.
This type of sober living home is also often affiliated with formal rehab programs — usually intensive outpatient rehabs. Although life here is structured, the home takes greater responsibility for residents' personal development beyond maintaining sobriety. Residents attend workshops and get training for life skills that are useful for independent living.
Recovery houses are the most popular types of sober living homes in Florida. Most homes are independent of formal rehab centers and operate under house rules. Residents observe curfews and take drug tests to ensure residents remain sober. House meetings aim to improve residents' interpersonal skills and provide peer support for challenges.
Sober housing is the least formal among sober living homes in Florida. Residents also take the greatest responsibility for maintaining sobriety and becoming self-sufficient. This type of sober living home is best-fit for persons with a strong external support group, jobs, education, or skills to rejoin a community.
Sober living homes typically have a 3-phase transition process for residents. The goal is to slowly reintroduce residents to what they would face on a regular day and build useful life skills and stress tolerance.
In this phase, the resident abstains from drugs and alcohol, has early curfews, and must attend house meetings.
This phase typically lasts for at least a month, and residents meet other housemates and familiarize themselves with house rules and responsibilities. Eventually, a sponsor or house manager deems the resident ready to move on to the next phase.
In this phase, the home manager or stakeholders assign the resident more responsibilities that give them more freedom and autonomy.
Here, the resident takes on day-to-day chores, goes to work, attends school, and gets involved in their neighborhood. The goal is to build stress tolerance for the self-sufficiency phase. The reintroduction phase lasts for several months.
This phase is the last before independent living, just before the resident moves out.
Here, the person moves to a residential neighborhood or single-family home where they live like every other person. Sober living homes make this phase such that the person lives in the home for a couple of days and spends most of the week in their new home.
Eventually, they become alumni who occasionally visit to share their experiences and support new residents.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, treatment is available. To locate a recovery clinic near you, call SAMHSA’s helpline at (800) 662-4357. Your conversation with a SAMHSA representative is private, and the line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
SAMHSA’s treatment center locator is also an easy way to locate a rehab program that has been assessed and rated by independent specialists. The locator displays the location of the facility as well as contact information. You'll also find a list of various therapies, amenities, and payment methods.